Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty's Real Estate Corner brought to you by Sakamoto Properties where prestige is our business, reputation our foundation. This program is brought to you exclusively and solely by Sakamoto Properties and we approve of its message. As we're coming up to an election that just seems it's the appropriate thing to say. Today here Mitch Mitchell is here in the studio with some great ideas for us, we also have Roy Sakamoto in the studio but for whatever reason today he has no earphones, no microphone, he's going to be, we'll see, a quiet observer. He could pop into the mix at anytime so let's be all careful, Mitch, what we're saying. Aloha Mitch and welcome.
Mitch Mitchell: Aloha Betty, thanks for having me on the show again. I feel a little under pressure having Roy watching me but you know, that's okay.
B: That's okay, we're okay with that.
M: That's okay, I can handle this.
B: You know, we were trying to figure out a minute ago the Hale Makua Luau is coming up ?
M: Yes, Saturday the 22nd of this month.
B: The 22nd, let's see Saturday the 22nd, okay keep that in mind. Where's that going to be, have you got some details for everyone that's thinking of going?
M: It's on the Hale Makua website as well as ours I believe. But it's down at the Marriott in Wailea, the ballroom, and have Eric Gilliom as our featured entertainer this year. And you know, we're also honoring Maui Soda and the Nobriga family for all they've done for the community over the many, many years. You know, it's not just for Hale Makua but for every charitable event, the Nobriga family has been there and supported our community, and to a great extent.
B: That by itself is a great reason to be there because it's true. If you've been to any charitable event, almost any, you'll see the Nobriga family or Maui Soda and Ice Works with Coca Cola, etcetera. So they've done a lot for the community and surely they deserve to have an award like this. So it will be really great to acknowledge them at this event and it will be really fun to be involved in it, so come on out and we'd really love to see you there. It'll be a fabulous event, and again take a look at HaleMakua.org and you'll figure out exactly what you need to do. If that doesn't work for you, call us or check SakamotoProperties.com and we'll try to get something up on Hale Makua and the event coming up. Or call us at (808) 669-0070 and ask for the Hale Makua tickets and we'll figure out for you how you'll end up with them so that you won't be out in the cold and have it suddenly sold out. So today Mitch, we're on a real estate mission as usual. We wanted to come up with some information, I've got a little bit of advice for people on loans, we're going to try to do our quick picks again and anything else that comes to mind we should toss it around a little bit whether it's a specific listing or what's going on in the mortgage world, etcetera. Have you got any thoughts on mortgages today, or have you chatted with anyone? Oh, I think I'm getting that look. Actually, kind of an interesting thing that I found today was that if you're interested in following what's going on in mortgages a great way to do it if you're trying to track interest rates and figure out what's happening go to Yahoo.com and click on "Finances" or I think you can also do YahooFinance.com. And if you check out the ten-year bond yield that's going to be a great indicator for you of exactly what's going on and if you track it day by day you're going to have a pretty good idea if interest rates are going to be going up, going to be going down, etcetera. Even better, one of the things we keep saying, rather than just tracking it online yourself is hook up with a mortgage broker somewhere. Go into your bank, Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank, sit down with someone, let them know that you are interested in buying real estate within the next year, figure out what's going on with interest rates. I know right now that there's money, large loans, jumbo-type loans that are going to be available with seven to ten year fixed, seven to ten year payoffs and I think that could be really interesting because it's under 3% right now. So whatever you're looking at, the interest rates are so low that this is the time to be buying so call us, (808) 669-0070, that's (808) 669-0070. Look at our website SakamotoProperties.com and in case you've missed anything on our radio show, you can find it on our website so take a look at that also.
M: You know Betty, one of the things that I've had several calls about lately and people stopping in the office hearing of some of the deals that have been closing around and going "Oh wow, I could have done that". And then I go and try to find another one and they're gone. So you know, some of those deals have already been snapped up. You can't tell where the bottom is until we can't find it anymore so ?
B: Well great statement there. I think that there's no way any of us are ever going to know the bottom until it's on the way back up and I've read an article the other day which I think is really interesting. If you were going to look around the country and make a decision to buy somewhere and you're kind of searching for the bottom the thing you've got to look at is you really want to go to a place where theoretically all the good deals are gone because now you know that the market is ready to heat up again and you're buying at a great time. You probably are at the bottom. If you go into somewhere and it's like it's ridiculous, it's a huge market of these down deals, foreclosures, short sales, etcetera, it's probably not when you want to buy because that could be going on for the next two to three years. So I think you want to be in there as you see a market changing and I think that's where we're at in Maui right now, don't you Mitch?
M: I do, because I've been looking for some of these great deals for people now that have decided to finally try and get in and it's pretty difficult to find.
B: It is, I mean there is absolutely no question, in a variety of categories it's really difficult to find. I think I mentioned this last week or two weeks ago, the idea that we have someone that is looking to buy a house somewhere between let's say $900,000 and a million three hundred and they have a vision of exactly what they want and exactly how they want to live and it's really hard to find that property in Kaanapali, you're definitely not going to find it at Kapalua, we've looked around for things in Napili, anywhere on the West side, we actually have pretty much covered Upcountry and those are the two possibilities. But in particular they'd like to be on the West side and we're looking at just about every property that we can and it's difficult right now to come up with something in that general price range and a million dollars is still a lot of money, it's a lot of money.
M: It sure is. One of the good things that's been happening lately, Betty, as you know we've closed two of the Golf Villas and the Golf Villas are in the middle of the Kapalua Golf Villas. They're in the middle of remediation and the buildings are turning out spectacular and really beautiful so they're becoming a really great property again as it was in the past. And, there's some really good buys in there right now because they're getting probably a third of the buildings have been redone or are in the process of being done. So I think there's really still some good buys left and some room for appreciation.
B: I think you're right, I think there's fabulous buys that are there right now. The remediation is really bringing it back to its glory days so that I think you're going to be at Kapalua again, the glory days are coming back. The Golf Villas, which has been the lowest end product, but some of the best views in the resort and that kind of sits into the hillside, it's not windy, you know. There's some amazing properties there, some of the ones that are priced the lowest are the ones that are going to need a little bit of work happening to them, but way worth doing it and I think that right now you do have some people who it's cost a lot. The remediation kind of did a big raise in the association fees to fund everything that's needed but again the owners that are looking to sell, I think, have a goal in mind to get moving on with their lives or possibly buy a replacement property, either on the mainland or pick up another property here. We're finding interesting exchange possibilities where people are looking to sell, maybe even, a house but end up with a condominium. You know, so they're trading down and we're seeing the opposite happening. Getting those two together is not a simple task but that's one of our things happening right now Mitch. Wouldn't you say people that are ready to trade up, trade down, want to keep a piece of Kapalua, let's say, or Kaanapali, so I think that we're hopefully going to be able to put some of those deals together.
M: Yes, there's a couple that I'm involved with right now that want to downsize because they're finding that they have to spend more time other places in the world with the grandchildren or whatever but they still don't want to give up their dream of Maui and of the Hawaiian lifestyle or their touch with paradise. So there's a lot of interesting, they are difficult to put together but that's why you need a professional.
B: True, I mean check in with your real estate broker for any of these ideas if you've been tossing around, oh I could sell this, and I could buy that. And sometimes that means it's going to be Hawaii, sometimes it means you're going to buy another property in Chicago, California, where ever it is that you're from. It really can make sense today to do an exchange and to move into a totally different property. So whether you're trying to sell outright and then find the property we can set you up with an exchange company and have you ready to do this kind of transaction. Mitch, any kind of quick picks?
M: You know, besides the Golf Villas, we have quite a few of the Bay Villas listed for sale and remember, these can be pretty much some of the last built directly on the ocean, it's really a spectacular, magical spot. We have several Bay Villas of varying sizes and prices, some need a little tender loving care and some are really fixed up beautifully. So the Bay Villas, you know, when you're sitting out there on the bluff overlooking the beautiful blue and the sunsets and the surf. You know, the North swells will be coming in here soon so it's really a very magical place to be. So I think the Bay Villas are something that people should be considering also.
B: That's Kapalua, that's actually the first development at Kapalua. The first development was the Bay Villas, which again is a fabulous oceanfront property, three swimming pools, between two really fabulous beaches, and then on the far side of the one beach is where you're going to go through Kapalua Place where we have a listing. I think it's at $22,000,000 so again you're in the high rent district when you're looking at these properties at the Bay Villas. So you're really in the midst of some fabulous happenings and then you go on down to the Ironwoods where the lowest listing is $2,550,000 and up from there. So again, at Kapalua right now there's some great value when you take a look at previous sales, etcetera.
M: Another spot is Napili Point. You know, we've always been pushing Napili Point, it has a real special place in our heart, it's kind of old Hawaii. A friend and I were talking about that last night, how a lot of us when we came here thirty years ago, this was Hawaii. Napili Point and Honokeana Cove and a lot of those places. And Napili Point is still right there, we have several listed there. I just had one that I sold about six or seven months ago, the owners, the new owners came over for their first week that they were able to spend here. They brought all their family, now other people in the family are thinking oh what a great deal this is and so it was nice to see another family starting out on their family tradition of coming to Hawaii and enjoying everything that Hawaii has to offer. You know, that bay there at Honokeana Cove has got more turtles and they're huge, it's a great spot to snorkel and swim in an it's just right outside their front door there.
B: You know, one end of the market that I feel sometimes we don't give enough information on, and I think it's critical to our community, it's the somewhat, let's say, first time homebuyer. The local resident, let's say, even try to move up from an existing property and might again be someone that owns a condominium but has been dreaming of getting into a home or a larger condominium, etcetera. At that end of the market, I do think, you're still finding some great values. The other day I happened to look at Wailuku homes and that's not an area that I claim to be that knowledgeable in but the more that I look at it, I was totally amazed by the properties that are available in Wailuku and I think it would be a great place to live. I mean, our hearts are on the West side but again for a lot of people you can find a home, a great piece of land and you're close to everything. You're close to the airport if you're travelling in and out so I think first or second home there's some great Wailuku properties in fabulous areas and I think that is a great place in the market. The same is true in Lahaina, there's some great new developments that are down right in Lahaina, near Barnes and Noble and Foodland Farms etcetera, there's newer condominium developments that has some amazing deals, no down payments, great financing so anybody that's looking to get into the market today, either as a first time homebuyer or as a local resident, and those are the people that more than anything need to talk to their lender. Go to the bank, talk to someone at the bank, call us for the name of a mortgage broker if you aren't able to figure it out with the local banks. You know, check in with us and probably before you go to the bank, call us, (808) 669-0070, call your local real estate broker, someone you've already worked with.
M: Call Sakamoto Properties.
B: There we go.
M: And we'll help you get to the right direction, you know, with a lender or if it's an area that we're not as familiar as we'd like to be, we know other licensed realtors that we know that would do a great job for you. So don't forget to call Sakamoto Properties and we'll help you get started.
B: (808) 669-0070, that's (808) 669-0070. And again, take a look at our website SakamotoProperties.com put together for us by Meyer Computer who have done their best to get us updated all the time. I think I've said before we've been a little kicking and screaming because we tend to be constantly busy and it is hard for everybody right now that's trying to keep a website up. But they've done a great job for us, to keep us updated and give us new ideas and try to push us into the current century so we're plugging away at it. So take a look, if you can't find something on it, let us know and we'll go after those Meyer Computer people and have them figure it out for us. They've been extremely helpful and have taken real good care of us so we've been pretty happy with how that all works.
M: Meyer Computer keeps beating me up because I'm supposed to go there for a meeting and learn and actually work with some of the stuff that they've done for me. You know, I'm an old dog and it's hard for me to learn new tricks.
B: It is hard to learn new tricks for all of us but we're all learning and that will continue to be on the learning curve so let's just keep doing our best. You know, another thing that in a way is really going to be upon us quickly is Christmas and the holiday season is basically 90 days away. Now think about that for a minute and that's a little bit frightening as far as I'm concerned.
M: That's very frightening and I'm not going to think about it. So Betty, tell me about your Lahaina Shores ?
B: I'm, for a minute, going to stick with the fact that we are coming up to the holiday season and I think for all of us it's time to start to prepare. There's a lot of different things that we all want to accomplish and I think it is time and Mitch, just recently, was up for a very large award for what he's done for local charities and Hale Makua. And unfortunately he was not the final winner, that was George Martin, who's done a lot for Carden Academy. But there were twelve companies and each one of them, individually, including Mitch, deserved to win. But then you have twelve, such amazing people that have done so much for the community and it is set up, it was the rotary, and obviously there is going to be one winner and we're all so proud of Mitch and proud that he was nominated and I'll always have to congratulate him for all he's done for Hale Makua and for the community. So thank you for that Mitch.
M: Well thank you Betty but you have to remember that there are hundreds and hundreds of people out there that don't get the recognition and I want to give them the recognition you know for helping give back to our community. There's so many, in fact, everybody that gives even a dollar to me for raising funds, they're the heroes. They're the ones that are actually doing something for the community. I'm just a collector and I want to thank everyone out there that does something, whether it's in financial aid or time that you spend with an elder, or teaching children after school, I think Maui is an amazing place. There's just a lot of people that care about community, care about people, and I'm happy to be one of many.
B: What you just said Mitch is part of what I'd like to say as we come up to the holiday time. If you're going to do something for elders or for children, I mean this is the time to kind of get your plan in place. You can check in with Hale Makua, talk to somebody, see if there's something you can plan over the holiday. Maybe there's a kids' singing group that would go over and do something or you might be able to just spend the day reading to someone, but those things need to be planned ahead of time, you can't just drop in. So check it out, call Hale Makua or check on HaleMakua.org and Mitch wanted me to tell you something about Lahaina Shores. Lahaina Shores is also a great property, we have an amazing studio listed for sale, oceanfront, available to see majority of the time. They've been keeping it open right now so that it will be available to look at so again, call us (808) 669-0070 and one of us will get you in to see Lahaina Shores at any time, it has a fabulous rental program.
M: You know, Lahaina Shores is a great property. I've stayed there when I was on a visit here before I moved here and it's like a block from the center of all the action in Lahaina town and Lahaina town is a real special place and I think having a place downtown, I think Roy's sister and brother-in-law have a place there for when they want to come back, right in Lahaina Shores. So again, great, great property.
B: It really is, super great property, nice rental program. They're getting everyone to upgrade the units substantially to stay in the rental program which is always a good thing. So you'll take a look at some units that are upgraded and some that aren't but we can get you through that if it needs to be upgraded to be in the rental program if you choose to do that. We can help you figure that out to the best of your abilities so that you can have something that you're really proud of if you have family come or friends or for rentals. So again that's just another thought. But again, get right now, get to your lender, especially local residents, get to your lender, do that through your real estate broker and let's find out if we can get you to buy a property while we're still in the middle of what I consider to be totally a buyers' market. And again, when it changes it will change so quickly that none of us will believe it. So we think we're all so smart but you know Mitch we are winding down pretty quick. We've probably got just a little over a minute left, any other quick thoughts you've got in mind?
M: At Sakamoto Properties we've got a lot of agents that have experience in many different areas and just give us a call at Sakamoto Properties and we'll find the glove that fits.
B: Perfect, again, mortgages I think that it's an interesting time for everybody. I think that you're going to get better interest rate, better payment than you ever could have dreamed a few years back. So if the idea is that you need financing let us help you. But we need to get you, number one, in to talk to your lender, it's vital because you may be totally surprised that there is something that you really want and love and could buy. We're now probably hitting thirty seconds so we're through and aloha for today. We've got Danny Couch coming back on with "I Love Hawaii" and for the record: I love Hawaii.
M: Sakamoto Properties number one in exclusive Maui real estate.